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Celebrity NFL Picks: Since Nov. 17, Cleveland has suffered a Brown-out

Sal DeFilippo

Celebrity Picks

Lance Burton, Monte Carlo master magician (25-23)
Chiefs +3 at Bengals
Jets -3 vs. Dolphins
Broncos +8 ½ at Chargers
Anthony Crivello, star of "Phantom - Las Vegas Spectacular" (27-21)
Eagles -1 ½ vs. Cowboys
Dolphins +3 at Jets
Patriots -6 at Bills
Carrot Top, Luxor headliner (16-31-1)
Patriots -6 at Bills
Jets -3 vs. Dolphins
Seahawks +5 at Cardinals
Danny Gans, Encore headliner (24-24)
Steelers -10 ½ vs. Browns
Patriots –6 at Bills
Jets -3 vs. Dolphins
Oscar Goodman, mayor of Las Vegas (24-23-1)
Steelers -10 ½ vs. Browns
Patriots –6 at Bills
Broncos +8 ½ at Chargers
Kevin Janison, KVBC meteorologist (21-25-2)
Giants +6 ½ at Vikings
Dolphins +3 at Jets
Broncos +8 ½ at Chargers
Wayne Newton, "Mr. Las Vegas" (30-18)
Cowboys + 1 ½ at Eagles
Dolphins +3 at Jets
49ers -3 vs. Redskins

Where were you on the night of Nov. 17, 2008?

It was a Monday. I know, you may have trouble recalling events that far back. After all, this was more than a month ago -- more than a week before Thanksgiving. A lot has happened since then.

But someday, you may want to make some record chronicling what you were doing on that night, approximately 8 p.m. Pacific time.

You see, it was on that night, about six weeks ago, that a historical event occurred, the likes of which we may not see again for some time.

This momentous occasion came on the first play of the fourth quarter, in fact, in the Browns-Bills game. A seemingly innocent handoff to James Harrison resulted in a 72-yard touchdown run for Cleveland. It was a key play in their two-point win over the Bills, but at the time, nobody knew its true significance.

More than five full games later, the Browns are still searching for their next offensive trip to the end zone. There was no crime committed here, but it’s safe to say that in the five games since Harrison’s jailbreak run through the Buffalo defense, the Browns offense has been completely locked up.

Yes, they’ve had some injuries, but to go five games-plus without a single touchdown on offense is beyond inept.

Two field goals in Week 12 against Houston. Two field goals in Week 13 against Indianapolis. Three field goals in Week 14 against Tennessee. A field goal and a defensive touchdown on an interception return against Philadelphia in Week 15, accounting for the only double-digit scoring game since that fateful Nov. 17 night. And last weekend, at home against Cincinnati, a goose egg on the scoreboard. Browns reputed quarterbacks Ken Dorsey and Bruce Gradkowski combined for 76 yards on the day, with four interceptions.

And how’s this for a Christmas present? Cleveland gets to finish off a forgettable year against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who boast the NFL’s best defense. Fortunately for the Browns, Pittsburgh has clinched the No. 2 seed in the postseason, and have nothing to gain or lose this weekend, so the Steelers could rest some key players.

But even if that’s the case, the forecast doesn’t look good for Cleveland, when you consider the snow and terrible field conditions that are usually associated with Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field in December. Good luck with that, Ken Dorsey.

Another 3-0 week against the number has placed the season ledger at 30-17-1 entering the final week of the campaign. This is usually a tough week considering some teams have nothing to play for, but I’ll try to finish strong with the Steelers-Browns under 32, the Redskins +3 at the 49ers and the Chargers-Broncos over 50.

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